"Whatever new plans they come up with, it won't work out here. It's getting worse and worse," the soldier said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he worried about a reprimand from his superior officers. "I was here last time, in the beginning. Now it's totally changed. They don't even respect us anymore. They spit at us, they throw rocks at us. It wasn't like that before."
What catches my eye is not so much the lack of hope from the infantry soldier, although that's definitely not good, what I see as important is the growing distance between the way the soldiers and the officers see the war. More and more we're reading foot soldiers expressing hopelessness about their efforts while their officers talk of optimism and positive signs. (McClatchy had another clear example on Sunday.)
I am not a military expert, but it would seem to me that this growing gap in perception will likely lead to a disconnect between officers and soldiers which could mark the beginning of serious problems.
If you're an infantry soldier seeing little point in your patrols, how do you respond to being sent out, being shot at, seeing comrades wounded and killed, day after day at the hands of officers who you don't think have a grasp on the reality.
How does that clash not affect you?
(This is just a speculative post based on a few tidbits, but I'm growing worried by what I'm reading.)